children's teeth x-ray

Many parents ask whether it’s safe to use x-rays on children’s teeth, and are unsure of the reason an x-ray may be needed.

While dentists can see the outside of your child’s teeth, x-rays allow us to see between the teeth and under the gum line. X-rays help the dentist to see:

  • See how your child’s teeth are erupting,
  • See the number, position and size of teeth under the gums, in case teeth are crowded, delayed or under-developed,
  • Monitor any injuries or infections to the mouth and teeth, and
  • Prepare for any orthodontic treatment.

The need for a dental x-ray will vary according to your child’s development and dental health. If your child has had a high degree of tooth decay or a lot of fillings, your dentist may recommend more regular x-rays so they can monitor the progression of any further decay. If your child’s teeth are healthy, x-rays will be less frequent, perhaps only every 18 months. If x-rays are not taken when needed, your child’s dental health and any problems can worsen.

Modern x-rays are considered safe for children as they are only exposed to a minimal amount of radiation. Some x-ray machines use a tunnel beam, which means exposure to radiation is extremely localised and minimal. It is usually recommended that these are taken only every 12-18 months unless severe decay is detected. These x-rays are digital, which reduces radiation by as much as 80%. They are quick, painless and safe for children. Dentists can process and develop the x-rays on the spot and can see the image immediately, so any necessary treatment can commence quickly.

If your child hasn’t had a check-up recently or has never had x-rays taken, contact your local My Kids Dentist to ensure your child visits a dentist who specialises in treating children.

Dr Caroline Nguyen

Dr Caroline Nguyen founded Vivid Dental in Five Dock, and provides quality general and cosmetic dentistry services. Caroline has a special interest in orthodontics (braces) and periodontics (treating gum disease). Caroline has an engaging personality, commitment to quality and genuine interest in her patients, and is particularly good at easing nervous patients. Many of Caroline's patients are young children and she is adept at making their first visit enjoyable and fun.